Rowby Goren is no stranger to Experts Exchange. In fact, he might be considered part of the old guard, as he signed up all the way back in 1998, nearly two decades ago. He started as an asker, getting answers to problems he couldn’t figure out on his own.
To make sure he set himself up for success, he developed a system for asking his questions that promotes detailed and quick answers. Here’s his formula:
- Outline the problem and what has already been done to resolve it
- Provide example code and specify where the problem might be
- Do a quick mock-up and explanation for what should be happening
- Respond quickly
- Express appreciation for their time & help
While he may be a tech expert now, that wasn’t always the case. His background wasn’t in technology. In fact, at the time, it was the furthest thing from technology. He started out in show business — working as a writer primarily for Laugh In on NBC, but getting work wherever he could on shows and films including Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Fat Albert. The gig he got with NBC was out of sheer luck (though not without some talent).
While employed as a type clerk in Los Angeles, he would write out jokes on the bus ride to work. One day, he picked his ten favorite jokes, wrote them out on 3×5 cards and mailed them to the NBC studio. A director was given them by mistake, and within the week he was hired as a writer for the biggest show in Hollywood. Later, he won an Emmy for his writing work on the popular celebrity game show Hollywood Squares.
It was his work in Hollywood that first introduced him to technology: he remembers seeing the DIY kit called “Heathkit” in a store window across the street from the Warner Bros. studio. As computers became more prevalent, more writers used them for their word processing capabilities. While getting to know the ins-and-outs of the technology, he asked a lot of questions on Experts Exchange, learning a great deal from the knowledge of the early experts. He loves that any tech question can be asked, no matter how specific, and someone will answer it.
“It’s really been quite interesting over the years and I look at the range of questions I’ve asked that get answered so quickly by people who really know what they’re doing.”
Eventually, he helped pioneer the use of modems in many of the animation houses so writers could easily send their scripts to the cast and crew.
Rowby didn’t just ask questions on Experts Exchange; after a while, he was able to start helping others with the questions they had. When questions are posted in the Joomla or CMS topics, he’s the expert to turn to.
Now, he builds websites for clients, thanks to the wealth of knowledge he gained by being involved in Experts Exchange. The two he’s most proud of are http://www.georgeschlatter.com/# and http://www.schoolofmusic.ucla.edu/
After all these years, Rowby continues to credit Experts Exchange as a tool that’s made him look good to his supervisors and peers, and helped him grow in his career. With the help of fellow experts Ray Paseur, Scott Fell, and GaryC123, he has added “tech expert” to his incredibly impressive resume.